Well, the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Covid-19 Travel Recommendations seem to change as frequently as the Kardashians’ wardrobes. Every week there are new additions to the list of destinations considered Level 4, the highest of four Covid-19 risk levels. Destinations at Level 4 are deemed by the CDC as places that you should avoid traveling to, regardless of whether you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This past week five new destinations ascended to Level 4: Belarus, Moldova, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
You may have noticed that four of these five destinations are located in either Eastern Europe or Southeastern Europe. That’s because that region of the world has been experiencing a Covid-19 surge. On Thursday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) tweeted out the following map of Europe showing the recorded Covid-19 activity as determined by the number of reported Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people and the percentage of Covid-19 coronavirus tests that are coming back positive:
On the map, orange is the new uh-oh. As you can see, much of Eastern Europe, especially Southeastern Europe and the Baltic areas, is the darker orange, maroonish color, which represents the highest Covid-19 activity level.
At the same time, many of these Eastern European countries have Covid-19 vaccination rates that fall well below the 74.7% of adults fully vaccinated rate for the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA), based on the ECDC Covid-19 vaccine tracker. For example, in Romania, only 34.8% its adult population are fully vaccinated. Bulgaria’s number is even lower at 23.6%.
Over the past two weeks, eleven new destinations leveled up to Level 4. Back on October 4, the CDC had moved six destinations (Armenia, Austria, Barbados, Croatia, Latvia, and New Caledonia) up to this “avoid travel to” group. As I’ve described previously for Forbes, destinations become Level 4 when the number of reported Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days (which is a little over two Scaramuccis) goes above 500. There are now just over a hundred destinations around the world at this highest level. They range from Afghanistan to Costa Rica to Serbia to the United Kingdom.
This past week, one destination did move from Level 4 to Level 3 and that’s Spain. That means that its number of reported Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days has dropped to within the 100 to 500 range. For Level 3 destinations, the CDC tells you to “make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations.” These are in the red on the map.
If you must travel to a Level 4 destination, take all the Covid-19 precautions that you can. Make sure that you are fully vaccinated. Wear a face mask whenever in Maintain social distancing at all times such as keeping at least six feet away from everyone else. That’s about 1.09 times a Halep since Romanian tennis star Simona Halep is about five foot six inches tall.